You just never know when heavy rains or seasonal floods will take out a stretch of road. Being confident enough to get across the water can save you a long detour. It can also be fun and add an extra sense of adventure to your trip.
Our most recent experience with crossing a washed out road was in Andalucia. We produced this video to show you how we crossed it and we’ve also written down some tips for you (see below the video).
How To Do It – Tips For Crossing Water With Your Bicycle
1. Pick Your Location
Scan the water. Look for the most shallow, level spot where you can cross. If the water is clear, you may spot an obvious crossing point immediately. If it’s murky and muddy, you may have to wade in to see how deep the water is and whether there are any obstacles in the river. Look for islands and see if you can “hop” across the river from one island to the other. Pay attention to currents and stay away from fast-moving water if possible.
2. Decide If You Can Ride Across
If you’re confident there are no huge potholes or rocks lurking under the water and if the water is only a few inches deep, it’s often possible to ride across. Once you decide to ride across, start cycling a few meters before the water so you can build up momentum. When you reach the water, don’t panic. Pedal steadily to keep a constant momentum.
3. Keep Your Clothing Dry
When walking your bike across a river, take steps to keep yourself as dry as possible. Take off your socks and shoes and sling them over your handlebars. Wear sandals if you have them, to protect your feet from sharp rocks. Roll up your pants to at least knee level.
4. Consider Taking Panniers Off The Bike
If the river crossing is particularly tricky it can help to remove some panniers. This makes the bike a bit easier to hold on to and control against a current.
5. Be sensible.
Some rivers can’t be crossed safely. Only proceed if you are certain about getting safely to the other side.